This year's Pike Peaks International Hill Climb Open Class winner thought he left way too much on the table and thinks he wasn't fast enough. This man has high standards as he was faster than the capable and experienced Ducati factory team, on only his first trip to the mountain. Jeremy Toye you're the man.
Jeremy built his 2014 Kawasaki ZX10 himself with help from his mechanic of 8 years, Jody Scheuring who built and tuned the engine. Technically a new class for this year, only the second the entire track has been paved, the Open Class allows for full fairing bikes and saw competition from Ducati, Yamaha and other Kawasakis.
Jeremy Toye has run the Isle of Mann twice and races AMA Pro SuperBike class normally. Until recently his day job was running his performance shop of 16 years in San Diego, California, Lee's Cycle. Around the time of Pikes Peak he sold his shop and set out for a new venture, but isn't exactly sure what that is.
We caught up with him at home with his 3-year-old and 16-year-old to talk about how he managed a win after crashing in practice and how winning isn't good enough.
RA: Your first time to Pikes Peak and you won? What was that like?
JT: Obviously you go to a place or race and your racer mentality, you expect to do well, and run up front, but that place is so different. It's pretty challenging and we made extra challenges for ourselves. Winning at the end of week was exciting.
RA: What extra challenges?
JT: We crashed during qualifying. Falling off at a place like that doesn't bode very well. There's probably only a handful of turns you can go off comfortably-I mean as comfortably as your going to on a bike-most of them will end your weekend and sometimes end a lot more. We were lucky and thankful to go off on a turn that had an air fence.
RA: So what happened? What caused the wreck?
JT: Basically we were changing our set up, testing different chassis and suspension parts and not having any background of Pikes we were just trying new things. For the upper section, it's a lot of quick switchbacks and you don't load the chassis very much. You set it up soft for the top. When we went to qualify, they used the lower portion of the track. It was our first run at speed and we had some good competition, so we were going for it. The forks were a little too soft and we lost the front going into the fastest section of the track.
RA: You used a backup bike for your qualifying run, but did it mess you up physically or mentally?
JT: I re-injured my knee, prior motocross training incident with my knee that I had only just bounced back from. It doesn't allow me to bend my knee great. That was a major set back. We did all the preparation that we possibly could, elevation, ice, exercises. I was sitting with my knee above my chest, until the last minute. I had to get out of the seat once in a while just to perform downshifts, they were very difficult for me and I'm concentrating that I'm not running off the road again. You kind of put the pain in the back of you head and go for it.
RA: What is your routine like before a race like this? Talk to yourself, exercises, etc?
JT: If it were a short circuit normal road race, I'd have a normal physical training routine to make sure my muscles are firing at 100 percent. I bring up the aggression level in order to go faster.
In a race like this you need to be focused and calm. My training is similar, but i normally have my iPod in with R music or something playing where i can be mellowed out to get me calm and focused for this race.
Aggression level a little calmer, because in a normal race, you've got 20 guys fighting for the same corner, you need to be aggressive to hold your spot. At Pikes or Isle of Man, you're racing yourself and if you go in aggressively you might find yourself on your head. It's dumb to be aggressive and fight with yourself. You'll get hurt.
RA: How do you manage a coarse you've never been to before? Are you able to memorize corners, speed, etc.?